Today, I did something brave. Simple, yet brave for me. I reached out to an old friend of mine who happens to practice photography and asked to set up a photo shoot with her when she is in town in the near future! Although this may seem silly to some, reaching out to people (even if know them) has always been a struggle for me. As I’ve started on this personal journey of self-love and acceptance, I have realized that even though I struggle in certain areas that should seem easy enough to others, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with me. In fact, it means quite the opposite!
I’ve learned that, for me, conversations are hard. And that is okay. It is an attribute of myself that partly makes me who I am as a person. I will forever go above and beyond for others, yet have a significantly hard time taking care of myself. While this is definitely something I need to be (and am!) working on, it also just shows how passionate and caring I am as a person. Now I just need to hone in on that passionate, caring trait and turn it towards myself. (JSYK- WAY easier said than done.)
I recently started seeing a therapist. Lucky for me, I managed to hit it off with the first one I started seeing as an adult. My life, like most, had to become quite the train wreck of sorts before I was able to finally accept that I needed to reach out to a professional for help. It took me so, so, so many tries. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make. Making the decision to get help was actually pretty simple- it was the part where I had to actually take action to get the help that was the difficult part! I would go to the doctor’s office, having prepped myself beforehand and everything, and when she would ask, “So, are there any other issues you want to discuss?” ……I would momentarily freeze, then practically shout “NOPE!” and run out of there as quickly as I could.
What a chicken, right? It took me three separate appointments that went exactly like this to finally help me gain the courage to be open and honest about what I was internally struggling with for such a long time. And thank the good lord I did. I got started on some medication, sheduled myself some appointments with a therapist, and lived happily ever after in a perfect world I call my life!
Okay, okay, you guessed it…that perfect fairy tale is a bunch of bologna and definitely NOT how my life went after my final appointment, haha. My reality looked more like this: I started on some meds and took about 2 weeks after that to be able to work up to even just CALL to make a therapy appointment! BUT- I did it. I FINALLY did it. After all that time! And guess what…it wasn’t nearly as scary as suffering in silence by myself was. It wasn’t all daisies and roses after that either; I started a vicious cycle of going to two appointments, seemingly making progress, and then skipping three…. going back for one, skipping two more… (do you see where I’m going with this?) until I finally reached out to my friends for help. I confined in them what was going on and how I was finding difficulty in getting myself to these appointments, regardless of the fact that I KNEW I needed them and I KNEW they were ultimately going to help. And this moment was when my entire life changed.
I just need to say, first off, that I have the GREATEST support system of friends a girl could ever ask for. When I was young, my parents passed away leaving me with a broken family life ever since. Because I wasn’t able to rely on family to help me in ways that I needed, I had become accustom to “trudging through my crap alone”, as I put it. I am so thankful to say that I finally have found my people; they are the ones that I can turn to at any time of day for anything and they will always be up to come help me pull myself out of my quick sand pit of a life. It’s beautiful. They are all beautiful human beings and I’m not sure I would be here to share my story with you if it wasn’t for them.
So, now that I got that out of the way, my friends STEPPED it up. Like seriously, A+ on the standards of accountability they held me to regarding these appointments. First, one of my friends called my therapist’s office FOR me (because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t do it myself), and explained what was happening and together she and the receptionist set me up for a few appointments in the few weeks following that phone call. Then, they each took turns in knowing when my appointments were and personally making sure I got to them. I’m ecstatic to say that although that kind of push was what I needed at first, I am finally able to independently attend my appointments and make sure I’m taking the proper steps to take care of myself. This would not have happened without them and I am eternally grateful I have these people in my corner of the world.
This is where my journey meets us back in the present. Here I am, bravery, anxiety and all, taking my life one day at a time. Frick, more like literally one step at a time! This is where I invite you to stay with me on this journey and maybe together we can help one another along the way; because no one needs to do this by themselves.